Police: Veterans are falling through the cracks - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Police: Veterans are falling through the cracks

STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - Stevens Point Police are trying to make it their mission to help veterans in central Wisconsin. But first, they need help from the community.

In his 19-year career as a Stevens Point police officer, Mike Bink has seen a lot.

It's our job is to take car of the crisis,” said Bink.

That includes veterans falling through the cracks.

"They come from fighting in Afghanistan to dropped in this poor economy and trying to get a job, trying to raise a family. It can be a witches brew of foul circumstance,” explained Bink.

Now, he's trying to change that. Partnering with Veteran Services of Portage County, he's creating a veterans resource center.

"All of us are trying to work together to address these needs proactively,” said Bink.

The program is still in the early stages. Right now, surveys are being distributed throughout the community asking veterans what they need.

"We wanted to do a process where we can see if there's a need out there and see what people want," said Mike Clements of Veteran Services of Portage County.

The survey is four pages long and has questions such as, "How often would you participate in the following events?” and "What is your interest in any of these activities?”

"Would they like to see outside counseling? Would they like movie night or peer to peer mentoring?" Clements said, giving a few examples.

But so far, the response hasn't been great. Officers say only about 60 surveys have been turned in. There are more than 4,000 veterans in the Stevens Point area.

"It's a work in progress and that's why we're interested in getting as many vets as possible," said Bink.

In order to do that, Bink is asking the community for help because, he says, veterans have done too much to be left out.

Surveys can be found in most businesses and public offices in Stevens Point or you can fill it out online here: http://tinyurl.com/poco-vetsurvey

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